Grant money likely for Ramona Village Design
Among preliminary recommendations for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money is $50,000 for Ramona Design Phase II.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the recommended 2009-10 annual funding plan for CDBG, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs last week.
The supervisors’ 5-0 vote also recommends $18,000 for various community revitalization committees that meet twice a year. The Ramona Boys and Girls Club parking lot paving proposal was placed on the alternate list.
“We’re just happy to see the process continue and hoping we can get some good projects out there for the communities,” said Catherine Trout Lichterman, director of the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
CDBG projects are intended to revitalize lower-income communities. The proposals were selected based on criteria that include benefit to lower-income residents, health and safety considerations, the ability to leverage block grant funds into additional revenue, and availability of alternate funding sources.
The preliminary allocations are based on 2008-09 entitlement figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides funding for the programs. Although the 2009-10 plan must be submitted to HUD by May 15, HUD is operating under a continuing resolution and the county has not yet seen its actual 2009-10 allocation.
The preliminary plan allocates $1,845,701 of 2009-10 CDBG funding to 20 projects in the unincorporated area, including the revitalization committees. The funding for the Ramona Village Design was obtained from the reallocation of CDBG funding from previous years for projects that have been canceled or completed with funds remaining.
Approval of the recommended plan includes a 30-day public review and comment period, and the plan will return to the supervisors on May 5 for final approval before submittal to HUD.
The Ramona Village Design Phase II project will develop a portion of the Ramona-specific zoning plan along with design standards for the town center. The plan may create mixed-use development with opportunities for low-income, moderate-income, and senior housing and is intended to create jobs for low-income and moderate-income residents.
The funding is part of $306,530 obtained from previously funded projects that have been completed or canceled, including the Collier Park playground shade structures, which were completed with $39,000 of funds remaining and Ramona Senior Center improvements, which were completed with a $1,277 balance.
A planning and feasibility study for Phase II of the Ramona Village Design had an estimated cost of $100,000 and was placed on the alternative list.
The Ramona Revitalization Committee has been meeting periodically since its creation in 1997, generally twice a year. The meetings allow county staff to meet with residents, businesses, community planning groups, and nonprofit organizations to identify and address issues that impact the community’s quality of life and economic vitality. The $18,000 of CDBG money will provide staff coordination and administration costs for the Ramona, Alpine, Lakeside, Spring Valley, and backcountry revitalization committees. Supervisor Dianne Jacob moderates the committee meetings in Ramona and other unincorporated communities in her district.
The alternative list includes a $112,852 request to pave the existing dirt overflow parking lot at the Boys and Girls Club in Ramona. That work would also include concrete curbs, drainage, and access sidewalks.
An application for Ramona Senior Care improvements did not meet low-income or moderate-income concentration guidelines and was deemed ineligible.
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